Monroe may wobble but she won’t fall down.
Marilyn Monroe shows up just about everywhere, and here she is yet again where we didn’t expect to see her—fronting a Malaysian film publication that appeared today in 1953. The magazine, called Filmalaya, is in English, which marks it as aimed at the British colonial community that occupied the upper stratum of society in Malaysia and Singapore. The cover photo is from a publicity series made when Monroe filmed the movie Niagara in Ontario, Canada in late 1952, and let’s just assume her perch is not as precarious as it seems and there’s a handy ledge or lawn behind her in case she goes heels up. But if she does, there are other stars in the magazine, such as Joan Collins, Betty Grable, Rhonda Fleming, Ava Gardner, and Nat King Cole.
Filmalaya represents an interesting snapshot into colonial society, as in the article about Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in London, which describes the thrills and excitement in Malaysia during the event. Doubtless, the mood around the Commonwealth probably seemed festive when viewed from inside the colonial bubble, but we doubt actual Malaysians were particularly moved. Needless to say, this magazine is rare, but luckily items from Asia are often a bargain, so this cost a mere six U.S. dollars. While the inside is nothing special visually speaking, that doesn’t matter when the magazine has this great cover and is such an informative slice of history. We’ve uploaded a few of the best pages below. Enjoy.
Hmm, maybe I should change this wallpaper.
Some well known photographers have contributed to the Goodtime Weekly Calendar, but the above image is by a true icon—Bruno Bernard, aka Bernard of Hollywood. The German-born Bernard possessed a doctorate in criminal psychology and had no formal photographic training, but after leaving Germany in 1937 was operating his own portrait studio within a year. His second studio was on Sunset Boulevard, and that’s where he worked for 25 years, along the way creating such iconic images as Marilyn Monroe’s Niagara and River of No Return promos, Lili St. Cyr’s Indian headdress and transparent bathtub shots, and portraits of virtually every star in mid-century Hollywood. The Goodtime Calendar has several other Bernard contributions, and you’ll see those as the year continues.
As a side note, you may be wondering why we’re showing you this second week of July image a week early. It’s because we’re headed off to Sevilla, Spain tomorrow for a week or so, and we won’t be posting during that time. Well, you never know. Probably we won’t. Depends on what we see. But anyway, we didn’t want our vacation to interrupt our Goodtime Weekly series, so you get this page a week early. You also get the quips a week early:
July 7: “When a man opens the car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.”—Larry Attebery
July 8: When a pensive little thing gets married, she often becomes an expensive little thing.
July 9: “A psychiatrist is a man who doesn’t have to worry so long as other people do.”—Pat Buttram
July 10: “A Hollywood guy changes his name once, a dollar bill once in a while, and his girl once she gets wise.”—Joe Hamilton
July 11: A man is incomplete until he marries—then he’s really finished.
July 12: “Science is dandy, but what makes a world’s fair is sex and cotton candy.”—Gracie Hansen
July 13: Small town: a place where there’s no recreation for single folks once the sun goes down.
Update: Turns out the model is named Terry Higgins. We just discovered this in June 2015, but better late than never. At least you know we're always updating and refining the information on our site.
Come on baby, drive me wild
She was born Denise Matthews in Niagara Falls, Canada. She began her show business career as an actress, using the name D. D. Winters. Her first starring role was in Pierre Brousseau’s Tanya’s Island, one of our favorite bad sexploitation flicks ever, and as eye-catching a debut as you’re ever likely to see. After that she met up with the musician Prince and under his tutelage became simply Vanity. Under that moniker she released music of debatable quality such as the semi-hits "Nasty Girl," and "Drive Me Wild," and continued to act in less-than-stellar-movies, but along the way redefined the word sultry. She posed for this feral promo image around 1982.
The greatest tourist attraction for hundreds of miles around.
French burlesque performer Lily Niagara, seen here at Le Crazy Horse saloon in Paris during filming for Alessandra Blasetti’s sex documentary Europa di notti, 1959.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1969—Manson Followers Continue Rampage
A day after murdering actress Sharon Tate and four others, members of Charles Manson's cult kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Manson personally orchestrates the event, but leaves the LaBianca house before the killing starts.
1977—Son of Sam Arrested
The serial killer and arsonist known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is arrested in Yonkers, New York. He turns out to be 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz. He had been killing people in the New York area for most of the previous year.
The United States detonates a nuclear bomb codenamed Fat Man over the city of Nagasaki. It is the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan. 40,000 to 75,000 people are killed immediately, with tens of thousands more sickening and dying later due to radiation poisoning. The U.S. had plans to drop as many as seven more bombs on Japan, but the nation surrendered days later.
1969—Manson Followers Murder Five
Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate and coffee heiress Abigail Folger, along with Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, and Steven Parent. The crimes terrify the Los Angeles celebrity community, and even today continue to fascinate
the worldwide public.
1963—Gang Pulls Off Great Train Robbery
A fifteen member gang robs a train of £2.6 million at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England. Thirteen of the fifteen are later caught, but some subsequently escape from prison, and one, Ronnie Biggs, is only recaptured in 2001 after voluntarily returning to England.
After two years of public outcry over the Watergate scandal, U.S. president Richard M. Nixon announces to a national television audience that he will resign, effective the next day. Vice President Gerald R. Ford completes the remainder of Nixon's term.
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